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Where is Michael Moore??

have you heard anything?
Michael Moore used to send out regular messages to his email list. But we haven't heard anything from him in quite a while, in fact not since before the 12/17/02 Tom Flocco story about a different Michael Moore (a retired navy Vietnam vet) being hassled by the FBI (which Flocco hypothesized was an indirect act of intimidation of the author/director MM -- perhaps they got more direct?).
[The Flocco story has now been rendered inaccessible (probably by sloppy HTML at tomflocco.com), so I can't link to it here. ]


On January 7, the guy in charge of Michael Moore's website sent out a message because so many people were askng about Michael. Here are excerpts, the parts that have anything to do with MM's whereabouts:

------
Subject: "The Latest News about "Bowling for Columbine" and "Stupid White Men"
Date: January 7, 2003

Dear Members of Michael Moore's list:

I am David Schankula, the editor of MichaelMoore.com. While Mike is away for a few weeks, I thought I would bring you up to date on the latest news regarding "Bowling for Columbine" and "Stupid White Men."

... You'll be hearing from Michael sometime in the next week. Sincerely, David Schankula, editor,  http://www.MichaelMoore.com

------------

But we did NOT hear from Michael.

I also notice that the "Mike's Message" area at  http://www.michaelmoore.com/ has not been updated since that Jan. 7 message, and that "The Michael Moore Forum will be down for technical reasons until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience." -- Apparently the forum has been down since the middle of January (according to posts to Usenet).

Maybe somebody can shed some light on this situation. Posts to Global IMC and sf.imc brought forth no information.
He's on a "world tour" 02.Feb.2003 19:17

googler

Too much Moore is barely enough
December 21 2002 (Australia)

He's the first celebrity activist since Che Guevara, a blue-collar redneck millionaire who has become the scourge of America's right. He's Michael Moore and he's bigger than ever. By Stephanie Bunbury.


There is just no getting around Michael Moore. He is like a sea lion shuffling about on land in a baseball cap, barking at the rich and powerful and roaring with laughter at the same time, a man larger in every sense than any man should be.

He is a man to fear, too: he can make an issue hum just with the zap of his personality. His first movie, Roger and Me, was in its day (1989) the most popular documentary ever made. In it, he pursued the head honcho of General Motors, Roger Smith, back and forth across the country; Moore was, without question, the only person who could make a documentary on the decline of America's car manufacturing industry feel like a Tom & Jerry cartoon.

His latest film, Bowling for Columbine, in which he bails up the entire management of K-Mart and confronts Charlton Heston on his own front veranda, is again rewriting the record books. Is Michael Moore the world's first celebrity activist? Since Che Guevara was dead by the time his face made it on to a million tea towels, he just might be.

Michael Moore, 48, grew up in Flint, Michigan, where the entire economy used to depend on the General Motors car plant; when he went after Roger Smith, it was decidedly personal.

Moore's family was Catholic and union. To this day, he considers himself typical of middle America, a burger-fed slob who, for all we know, may never have had a cafe latte in his life.


One journalist recently made the mistake of suggesting he was not a typical leftie. "Why would they say that?" Moore said angrily. "Is that a class comment they are making? I come from the working class so my instinct, my knee jerk should be more right?"

Typical liberals, setting the markers on the political spectrum; in their world, Moore maintains, people like him aren't supposed to be noticed at all. For starters, he dropped out of college. Then he spent 10 years running a weekly newspaper in Flint. A left-wing paper? "I guess so. We didn't use those terms in Flint."

He made $US99 ($A175) a week, which was just scraping by even in the early '80s. There was time out of work, too, then an ill-fated spell in Ralph Nader's organisation while he started work on Roger and Me. Now, famously, he is a millionaire, based in New York among the smart set. This does not embarrass him at all. When he was making his television show The Awful Truth in England, he was proud to be Channel 4's highest-paid presenter. He insisted that his family and attendant Flint posse all had to stay at the Ritz.

"It's trying to take as much money from them as possible and to make them bleed. Absolutely. Always." And why not? He gives a third of his income, he says, to political campaigns, soup kitchens and other causes. "I'm a dangerous person to give a lot of money to, you know. What am I go to do with it? Am I going to buy a yacht? Am I going to buy fancier clothes?"

Moore can pull down the big money because has an almost uncanny talent for picking the issue of the moment. Translated into capitalist terms, that means he can shift a lot of units. His book Downsize This! tapped into a tide of anger about the explosion in corporate salaries at a time of mass lay-offs. A subsequent film, The Big One, followed him on his promotional tour for the book, meeting people with myriad small tales of decline to tell.

His most recent book, Stupid White Men, is a comic take on the state of his nation that takes George, the Lesser Bush, as its chief target. It is a terrific book, deservedly his greatest success yet. But it very nearly never came out at all.

Stupid White Men was printed and ready for shipping, in a classic bit of Moore accidental timing, on September 10, 2001. September 11, as we know, was a pretty bad day. By September 12, Harper Collins had decided to hold the book back for a few months; now was not the time for a book castigating America's environmental destructiveness, racism and educational backwardness. Moore agreed readily: he had lost a friend in the twin tower holocaust and was hardly in the right frame of mind for a book tour.

A few months went by. It seemed like a long time. Moore rang Harper Collins to find out what was happening. He says they then demanded a rewrite, especially of that upsetting chapter Kill Whitey, and his critical remarks about the President ("George," reads one heading in the chapter Dear George, "are you able to read and write on an adult level?") His erstwhile publishers and supporters also wanted Moore to put up $A176,000 of his own money to cover the cost of the reprint. No way!

Moore says he tried to negotiate. He was making no headway at a time when he went to address a community group and, fed up, decided to forget the set topic and talk about how he was effectively being censored. And it was there, in the middle of practically nowhere, that one librarian heard what he said, got angry and got on the Internet.

Within days there was a campaign running on Moore's behalf, Blameless Librarians v. Rupert Murdoch's publishing imprint. Harper Collins then agreed to release the book, but not to publicise it. But it didn't matter, by then, whether Moore did the chat shows or not. Stupid White Men shot to the top of The New York Times bestseller list and stayed there, despite the fact that even the liberal NYT had not, and still has not, reviewed it. In Britain, it topped the bestseller list before it was released, thanks to Internet sales.

Moore is, no doubt about it, a phenomenon. Bowling for Columbine had the same explosive effect at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where it was first shown, and where it became the first documentary ever to be chosen for competition. It was mad, furious and funny and, wherever you went, people were talking about it. Every sequence lent itself to anecdote, from the opening sequence in which Moore, looking every inch the redneck, claims a free gun as a reward for opening a new account with a mid-western bank.

Moore may well be an egomaniac, as some critics have suggested, although he professes to be puzzled when he reads that. "Clearly, I am a person who suffers from a lack of ego," he says. "I mean, if I felt better about myself I wouldn't look this way."

Yes, he puts himself in his films, but he says he is acting as our stand-in. "I'm just there doing what you probably would like to do and holding back from wanting to choke a few of these people."

In this way at least, he is not a traditional leftie. He has that American belief in the one little person who can make a difference; in Stupid White Men, he stampedes for a national holiday in honour of Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to move to the back of the bus in 1955 and, in her defiance, became the poster girl for the subsequent struggle against the South's segregation laws. Rosa Parks was a brave woman, but Marxism 101 tells us that her lonely act of defiance would not have made a blip in anyone's day if the time for change had not been ripe.

Moore rides over all that. He acts like he can change the world by lunchtime tomorrow if he can just give it enough bluster; our Mike is a juggernaut, the irresistible force mowing down every reactionary in sight. And isn't that great, you think with a huge sigh of relief as you see him bearing down, amiable but inexorable, on the next feral gun owner or racist lunatic. Go Mikey!

Not that everyone likes his style, though, even on the left. He is loud and vulgar, which doesn't go down well in the Hamptons. "The thing about Michael Moore is that you just wish there was an alternative to him," says Moore, reading his own bad press from a New York magazine in a put-on voice that could attract the head waiter at Elaine's. "Can't our side come up with somebody who is less rude, less abrasive, less uncouth?"

In Cannes, where many of the visiting Americans are highly corporate studio reps, Moore's name was mud among many of his compatriots. "How could you come over here just to betray us?" they would yell at him as he walked down the street. Moore complains in Stupid White Men that the outside media portray Americans unfairly as "stupid as slugs". He says they are not, but as he talked the press through Bowling for Columbine you could sense him wondering.

Not for long, though. Moore is endlessly optimistic. He puts this down to being raised a Catholic: as a Catholic, he says, all things seem unattainable, but you keep going anyway.

More powerful than his optimism, perhaps - and whether it can be attributed to his religious upbringing is an open question - is his certainty. He keeps going because he is sure he's right. "And when I'm wrong, I change my mind and then I'm right again," he says. "And I try to keep my sense of humour."

It is these two qualities, his humour and his open mind, that make his films so entertaining. Most documentaries, he says, are inherently dull because they are made to a plan. When he started Bowling for Columbine, he wasn't sure where it would take him. "I don't want to make a documentary saying nuclear weapons are bad. I think we all know that; why spend two hours watching that movie? And likewise, I would never set out to make a movie saying guns are bad, because 'Yeah!"'

After the Columbine massacre, however, he started thinking about the cultural background to America's trigger-happiness. "And I thought, 'You know what? This is about an American mental problem. About our culture of fear and paranoia'."

Somewhere in the middle of making Bowling for Columbine, he actually changed his mind about gun control. He used to think, looking at the low murder figures in Australia and other countries, that guns were the issue. Then he took the crew to Canada, ostensibly to show how a similar culture ran without firearms. What he found, in fact, was that Canadians owned almost as many weapons as Americans. They just didn't use them to kill each other.

He turns the conversation to Australia for my benefit; his memory for names and facts is truly prodigious. It's not that he disagrees with Australia's strict gun laws, he says, but they could be considered a distraction from the real issues. "Here's why. You had this horrible shooting at Port Arthur. OK? You passed a very strong gun law and Australians were very proud that they cut the gun murders in half to 65, in the last year of statistics where I got my figures for the film. But that means they were only killing 130 to begin with, you know what I'm saying? To you, it's progress. To us, it's not the point.

"I'm agreeing with the NRA when they say guns don't kill people, people kill people: that's their slogan, right? But I would amend it. I'd say that guns don't kill people; Americans kill people. To look at just the guns lets us off the hook from looking at the real problems. I think what has kept your country safe and sane, relatively, is that you have an ethic we don't have in America, which is that if one person is hurting, we're all hurting."

As Australian politics moves to the right, he continues for a little on-the-side edification, Australia will also become increasingly brutal. "You are going to have more of what we have if you continue down the road of not taking care of each other." Take that away with you, he seems to be saying. You can do it!

Those studio apparatchiks who knocked him can't understand, he says, why Bowling for Columbine is doing such big business. It was easy, he says, to get money to make it; it took his Canadian backers 30 seconds to decide. Distributing the film in America has been another matter. "They can't understand it," Moore said. "They tried to get me to change the title. Then, when they find out what it's about - guns, school shootings or whatever - 'They won't go to it'. Then, they hear from France that it's a movie to hate America by, then 'They really won't go and see it'! And it turns out that all the predictions were wrong. And I knew that they'd be wrong, because I feel like I have a sense of where people are in the country."

Most Americans, he says, did not vote for Bush. They are worried, too, by the craziness of everything, by the shootings and crooked elections, by executions in Texas and the oil drilling in Alaska. "It's just that they got lazy."

Does he ever fear that one of those gun nuts will get him? "That says more about you than me," he says. "There are 280 million people in America, so even with 11,000 murders a year, the chances of my being murdered are pretty slim, right?"

He's on a "world tour"
He's on a "world tour"

just another salesman peddling his ware.. 02.Feb.2003 19:59

.

Look, hes a bright guy. He knew his home town (flint) was in the toliet and he found a way to make a buck off of it.

A capitilist in every sense of the word. Peddling his ware to those condo-pinks, spoiled twerps, limo-liberals, and others who gladly give him their money to go around a poke his camera in the faces of $5 an hour K-mart clerks, and others while claim victory for the common man..

It is victory for the common man, mainly Mr. Moore.

I feel sorry for Michael Moore 02.Feb.2003 20:21

Bush Admirer

Look at that photo, that scruffy little beard, that silly grin, that stupid baseball cap.

Imagine having to wake up, go into the bathroom, and see that in the mirror every day of your life. That's really a depressing thought.

Michael Moore is a big deal to leftists everywhere.

He's unoticed by the right. No one on the right watches his movies or gives a shit what Michael Moore thinks.

Why do you admire a moron? 02.Feb.2003 21:17

honey

I don't get it. What's with the moron admiration. I mean, he's the most celebrated idiot of the year. Why would you admire him, unless you've had recent brain surgery?

Well, good but... 02.Feb.2003 21:21

Mom

it IS weird that he hasn't kept in touch

Lets get real 03.Feb.2003 07:47

Das Capital

Hummmn,

No more book or Movie to promote, no more Mike, strange huh?

I actually think he's travelling Europe to, get this, promote his book and movie.

Not to worry, he'll soon be fighting for the common man by promoting another book, TV show or Movie.

Look it's not bad, pundit is a job nowadays if you can make it pay. Don't get all weepy-eyed that Mr. Moore isn't speaking at any rallys, he doesn't need the meager appearance fees that the fringe academics require to get by.


Just a thought

Guess what? 03.Feb.2003 09:29

Bush Admirer

I'm a government troll.....check out all the other city indy media sites....you will find someone like me on every one.

You're outnumbered, Bush Admirer 03.Feb.2003 09:55

Bill of Rights Admirer

Hey, Bush Admirer,
Looks like you're outnumbered, at least among people who read books. Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men" has been on the New York Time's best selling hardcover non-fiction list for 42 weeks, and is #7 this week. Meanwhile, the ravings of diseased minds found in contemptible screeds like "Slander" by Ann Coulter, and "Bias" by Bernard Goldberg, had brief appearances on the list, but where are they now? Moore's book was the best selling non-fiction hardcover in the United States for all of 2002, and people are still buying enough copies to keep it on the list well into 2003.
The secret to the book's success? It's hilariously funny, and gets you thinking about how it came to pass that a rich pampered sociopathic draft dodging alcholic coke sniffing frog torturing frat boy n'er do well now "gets to decide" the exact moment to launch the Battle of Armageddon. And why did "Slander" and "Bias" fade out so quickly? Besides being filled with page after page of horse shit, a commodity that right-wing morons devour with relish, there is nothing in those books for anyone with a brain or a sense of humor. The big advertising budgets the publishers provided for "Slander" and "Bias" were enough to get the books on the best-seller lists, but it takes word-of-mouth from people who have read and enjoyed a book to keep it a best-seller.

Who read the book? 03.Feb.2003 13:46

Rifraf

Hey, BS, oops I mean, BA, did you actuallly READ "Stupid White Men'? Did you SEE "Bowling for Columbine"? It's called "judging a book by it's cover", "predjudice", or "jumping to conclusions" Of all you're posts, I've NEVER seen you give any facts, make any viable arguments, add any points of contention, do anything in fact, other than insult people. Why are you so full of hate? I would love to get some real meat out of you're answers. Some real backup to you're logic. You are too easy to ignore, to make fun of, to argue with. You aren't changing anyones opinions by insulting a mans looks, and basing you're opinion of his writing on that. (Are you such a hottie?)
Really. Cmon. You make yourself, and all the others like you, look bad, and those of us who back our arguments up and do our reasearch look good. This isn't an insult. This is a challenge. Well? Have any reasons, specifically, that Micheal Moore is bad, why war is good, and what the hell has Bush done that's so admirable anyway? (Not what he SAID, what he DID). Maybe you CAN make a difference, or maybe youll learn something yourself.

b.a imposter 03.Feb.2003 19:16

john

and likewise, friend of evil, no one here gives a shit about what you have to say.

I think Savage Nation is #1 now.. 03.Feb.2003 19:18

.

does that mean that now the country is conservative?

no, it just means that a lot of people bought both books for xmas presents and thse books are now propping up the loose leg on the table in the dinning room of people who wish that santa had gotten them a new table instead.

Don't judge much by the NYT best seller list.


Moore's last movie was basically a box office flop. It barely saw the light of day in the "trendy" district theaters in various cities in the US. I'm sure it was popular in portland, and San Francisco, and maybe NYC, but in the rest of the United states more people went to see Eddie murphy in the adventures of pluto nash in one weekend than have ever seen a Moore Film.

BUSCO A DAVID SCHANKULA 27.Feb.2004 08:06

MARTA SUSANA SCHANKULA martaschankula@uolsinectis.com.ar

david,no hablo ingles. se que debemos ser parientes. mis abuelos (peter schankula y elizabetha bastian) llegaron de rumania con mi papa (peter schankula) y se establecieron en este hermoso pais. por favor, deseo comunicarme con usted. gracias.- un beso grande. marta susana schankula (41 a?os) lago la plata 816 (9001) rada tilly chubut- patagonia argentina

0297-4451813